In an effort to monitor the state of the nation’s housing market, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury review and record economic indicators for the housing industry. Their findings are published each month on HUD’s website in the form of a scorecard which evaluates a variety of aspects including housing market indicators and ongoing housing recovery programs. Here is a recap of October’s scorecard, which is a review of September developments:
- New home sales in September reached their highest level in over six years. In the y-o-y analysis, they were up by 17.0 percent. New home sales have not been this brisk since July 2008.
- The National Association of Realtors reported that the rate of existing home sales was the best it’s been since September 2013. Those sales include single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and coops. According to the NAR report, 5.17 million existing housing units were sold in September.
- The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index revealed that the nation’s home price appreciation rate grew by 5.6 percent over the last 12 months. That brought home value levels to those last seen in November 2004. The current home values however, are 15.8 percent below the peak they experienced in July 2006.
- The scorecard showed that the distressed home market is dwindling. Only 50,385 foreclosure starts took place in September. This is down 9 percent from August and 13 percent from one year ago. Information supplied by ReatyTrac indicated that lenders completed the foreclosure process on 22,930 U.S. properties in September. That number is down 13 percent from August and down 40 percent from one year ago.
- Millions of homeowners are benefitting from the Administration’s foreclosure mitigation programs. Those programs were initiated in an effort to speed up the recovery from the housing crisis. Since it began, the HAMP or Home Affordable Modification Program, has led to more than 8.9 million mortgage modifications and other forms of mortgage assistance arrangements for beleaguered homeowners.
- Another program called the Making Home Affordable Program, also through HAMP, has delivered over 2.2 million homeowner assistance actions including more than 1.4 million permanent modifications to previously held home loans. By the end of September 2014, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) had provided interventions for close to almost 2.5 million loss mitigation and early delinquency cases. Such programs continue to improve the nation’s housing industry and make the dream of home ownership a reality.
See the entire scorecard along with helpful graphs here: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=octsccrd14.pdf
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